Cycling P.E.I honoured its top athletes, administrators and volunteers recently at a well attended banquet at the Stratford Town Hall. On hand to present the A.D.L. Certificates of Achievement to the winners were Barrie MacWilliams of Amalgamated Dairies, and Nick Murray, public relations officer for Sport P.E.I.
Major winners were Senior Male Athlete of the Year Ryan Taylor, and Sara Bryanton, who was top female athlete. The junior athlete of the year awards went to Derek Hughes and Morgan McKenna.
Ruth Sturz was recognized as Administrator of the Year, while the coaching honour went to Luke MacDonald. The Rigid Riders were named Team of the Year, with Rhonda Bowlan winning the officials award. John Daigle was the Volunteer of the YearI
In addition to the A.D.L awards, the association recognized a number of other key contributors to the sport in this province. These were David Thompson (Most Improved Rider), Harvey Chandler (Recreational Rider), Joel Mills (President’s Award), Doug McNevin (Builder’s Award), while Kelsey McIntosh and Neil Robertson both received Cycling P.E.I Certificates of Recognition.
Winners from the Citizen Series also received their awards on the evening. For road races the winners were Menno Arendz (Under-15 Male), Harvey Chandler (50-plus Male), Sara Bryanton (Sport Female), Mark Creamer (Sport Male), Ardelle Hynes (Expert Female), Mike Christie (Expert Male) and Fraser MacPhee (Beginner Male).
Mountain Bike winners were Sara Bryanton (Sport Female), Morgan McKenna (Under-13 Female), Angus Galloway (Under-13 Male), Kyle Kneabone (Under-19 Male), Joel Mills (Sport Male) and Bruce MacPherson (Expert Male).
Following are short biographies on the A.D.L award winners:
Charlottetown’s Ryan Taylor had a very busy 2007, racing on the road and on mountain bikes in B.C., competing at the Canada Cup in Quebec, and finishing the year on the Atlantic circuit. Top results included a 1st and a 3rd in two Vancouver Island Cup races, and a credible 16th in the legendary Harris Roubix, also in Vancouver. Other notables included a 3rd place in the Squamish Gearjammer, and 7th in Elite at the B.C provincial championships.
Charlottetown’s Sara Bryanton won the sport female divisions in both mountain bike and road race in 2007. She enjoyed some excellent races, including wins in the China Point road event and time trial, the Emyvale road race, as well as the Tour de Pants and Muck Raker mountain bike races. She also placed first in the female single speed category at the Red Mud Mountain Mayhem.
Junior male athlete Derek Hughes, from Cornwall, competed in Belgium over the summer as part of the Dutch Cumosal team, and his performances earned him an invitation to return in 2008. Domestically he won the Mother’s Day time trial and the Fredericton road race. He also finished 1st in the Red Mud Alpe de Brookvale and short track race in male expert, and he also won the mountain bike Atlantic Championship in junior expert.
Morgan McKenna, also from Cornwall, was first in both the beginner category at the Tour de Pants mountain bike race in Summerside, and the under-13 female division at the Muck Raker in Brookvale. A member of the Rigid Riders, her team finished second at the 8-hour grunt. She is considered to be an excellent up-and-coming rider.
Bonshaw’s Luke MacDonald is one of the coaches on the Rigid Riders. With a level one mountain bike certificate, he is the trail coach and leads the training rides, offering advice to the riders. He spends much of his time preparing new trails, and he officiates at numerous events, including the mountain bike Atlantic Championships at Brookvale.
Based out of Brookvale, the Rigid Riders has increased its numbers to over 40 riders and coaches, with the emphasis on providing opportunities for youth to train and compete in mountain biking. The team hosts the Scotia Bank 8-hour Grunt endurance team challenge, and is constantly looking to expand, particularly in attracting young females to the sport, and helping out with youngsters who may not yet own their own mountain bikes.
Official of the Year Rhonda Bowlan of Stratford was the commissary for four out of the eight major competitions held in the province, as well as officiating at all four road events in the Smooth Cycle Citizen series. She also gets involved in race-day registration, course preparation, and after-race clean-up.
Winsloe’s Ruth Sturz was a driving force in the association in 2007, helping to organize both Monday night trail rides and Thursday night road rides. She also organized the Summerside Muck Raker, and was present at most of the road and mountain bike events, volunteering in some capacity. She is the interim manager of the 2009 Canada Games team.
Volunteer of the Year John Daigle of Borden-Carleton was visible at Brookvale for the mountain bike events, acting either as timer, lap counter or course marshal. He also volunteered at the Muck Raker as a lap counter, and he is an integral part in the success of the activities of Cycling P.E.I.